How to Make Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl: A July 4th Favorite!

Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl is the perfect treat that will be the star of your Fourth of July barbecue or any other patriotic gathering. 

It’s incredibly festive and delightful to look at as it is to eat!

finished ice cream with golden oreos and berry swirl.

Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl

Sweet cream ice cream with bright and fruity swirls, loaded with delicious pieces of vanilla sandwich cookies. The perfect summer treat.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings


  • ice cream maker


  • cups whole milk
  • cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • 15 Golden Oreos
  • cup blueberry jam or preserves
  • cup strawberry ice cream topping
  • 1 vanilla bean


  • Heat the milk and cream. Combine the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and the scraped vanilla bean seeds with the bean pod in a saucepan. Then, heat over medium heat until the mixture is warm and steaming or reaches about 170°F. Be careful not to let it boil.
    saucepan with milk cream and sugar.
  • Beat the eggs and remaining sugar. While the milk mixture is heating, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until they are light yellow and thickened, indicating they are well combined.
  • Temper the eggs. To temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling, gradually add half of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly. Once half of the milk mixture has been added, gradually pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and cream.
    tempering ice cream custard.
  • Heat to thicken. Return the saucepan to medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 185°F. The custard should coat the back of a spoon at this stage. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of salt.
  • Strain the custard. Set a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the custard through to remove any egg solids and the vanilla pod. This will make a smooth ice cream base.
    custard on stove and straining.
  • Chill. Transfer the strained custard to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, ideally for 4 to 24 hours.
  • Churn and add cookies. Put the cold custard in your ice cream maker and spin it according to the manufacturer's instructions until it becomes smooth and creamy. Gently crush the Golden Oreos and mix them into the churned custard.
    vanilla ice cream with golden oreos mixed in.
  • Add fruit swirls. Move the ice cream to a rectangular pan. Pour the blueberry preserves and strawberry topping over the top of the ice cream. Using a butter knife or a spatula, delicately create a marbled effect by gently swirling the toppings into the ice cream. Make sure to move the knife vertically and horizontally to create a distinct swirl pattern. Be careful not to mix the toppings too much to keep the fruit flavor swirls separate and distinct.
    ice cream showing process of swirling in strawberry and blueberry topping.
  • Freeze to set and serve. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours or until the ice cream is firm and scoopable. Enjoy your festive Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl, perfect for any summer celebration!


You can use any vanilla ice cream base that you prefer in this recipe.
Before starting, make sure to check the instructions of your ice cream machine, as many require a freezer insert that needs to be frozen for at least 24 hours before you start churning.
To avoid scrambling the eggs when tempering them, it’s best to monitor the temperature of the milk and cream mixture using a candy or instant-read thermometer while heating it.
For a professional look, consider creating layers when adding the fruit swirls. Add a layer of ice cream, followed by some swirls, then repeat the process. Use a knife to make light swirl patterns.
Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 862IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg

More Tips

To make the creamiest ice cream, make sure to refrigerate your milk and cream in a mixing bowl before using them to beat the eggs. This will help the ice cream mixture cool down faster and churn better. 

Although vanilla extract can be used, a real vanilla bean can add a richer flavor, making the ice cream taste better. It also adds a nice touch of vanilla specks to the finished product.

If you’re not a fan of Golden Oreos, you could swap them out for another vanilla-flavored cookie or even try a chocolate cookie for a different flavor profile.

Make sure your ice cream machine’s bowl is fully frozen before starting. It’s the key to getting the right texture.

finished ice cream with golden oreos and berry swirl.

Serving Suggestions

Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl is best served with shortbread cookies and fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries or
chocolate syrup.

Here are some simple substitutions you can try:

  • Whole Milk: Almond or coconut milk is a great alternative.
  • Heavy Cream: Replaced with full-fat coconut cream for a dairy-free alternative. 
  • Granulated Sugar: Replace with an equal amount of honey or maple syrup for a natural sweetener.
  • Egg Yolks: If you’re avoiding eggs, use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in a little cold milk. 
  • Golden Oreos: Swap for any preferred cookie, such as gluten-free or chocolate cookies.
ingredients on marble counter.

Remember that these substitutions will change the taste and texture of the ice cream, but they can be helpful if you have dietary restrictions or preferences.

Storage Instructions

Store your ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer to keep it fresh and prevent ice crystals from forming.

If you’re not planning to serve it immediately, cover the ice cream surface with plastic wrap before closing the container. This trick helps to keep the ice cream moist and avoid freezer burn.

Store the container in the coldest part of your freezer for up to 2 months to maintain its texture and flavor. After that, the quality may start to deteriorate.

ice cream cone with ice cream with blueberry and strawberry swirl.

That’s all you need to know to make your own Patriotic Ice Cream with Berry Swirl at home. It’s the perfect summer dessert. Just follow these tips and tweaks to adjust the recipe to your liking! 

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